Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Increase Your Vegetable Production

Increase your vegetable production by tucking in native flowers such as bee balm and echinacea (cone flowers) into the corners of your vegetable garden. Those native flowers will attract the pollinators you need for a successful crop, make your garden pretty to look at, and give the native pollinators - bees and butterflies - a welcome feeding station.


 

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Parsley and Dill are Food for Swallowtail Caterpillars

Parsley and dill are food for swallowtail caterpillars and so attract swallowtail butterflies. Add few extra ‘sacrificial’ plants in your flower garden or near your house to enjoy these beautiful creatures and applaud the young caterpillars as they chew through them.


 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Hand Watering is the Way to Go!

Hand watering is the way to take care of your flower and vegetable gardens. Water early in the day to prevent diseases from taking advantage of the wet leaves. And, pick vegetables and flowers when the leaves are dry to avoid spreading any diseases that may have found their way onto your plants.

 


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

This has been the driest New England spring in a number of years!

Usually, we get a lot of rain in the spring; it’s vital for all the trees and shrubs and perennials as they emerge from winter and send out flowers and leaves. This year we received virtually none. With the lack of rain, town watering restrictions have been issued earlier and with stricter rules. The Drought Monitor shows you where we are at the beginning of June. Two months ago, no part of the region was even ‘abnormally dry’.


 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

It’s Tick Season

Whenever you go out to garden, take a few seconds to spray all your clothing – not just below the knees, but on shirts and elsewhere – to deter ticks that want to jump on anything warm-blooded for their next meal. Use sprays that specify use of EPA-registered tick repellent ingredients. These include DEET, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and PMD. 


 

 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Fertilize Your Perennials

May is the month to fertilize your perennials. They’re entering their growth cycle for their late spring and summer displays, and the fertilizer ‘boost’ will ensure a long and colorful display as you add the nutrients to bolster both root and flower production. But remember: when applying fertilizer, less is best.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Protect Your Tender Plants Against Deer

Those hostas and other perennials that are just emerging for their new season are taste treats for deer, rabbits, and other herbivores. Your best bet to protect your investment in those plants is to make them taste terrible. There are several commercially available preparations (Bobbex and Liquid Fence are two examples) that consist of putrefied eggs, mint oil, garlic, and other ingredients that deer and rabbits find noxious. These preparations are applied using a home sprayer. A spraying of all new foliage is best when no rain is in the immediate forecast. For an hour or two, your yard will smell terrible. Once the sprays dry, humans no longer detect them but deer and rabbits avoid treated plants for up to a month.


Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Spring Bulbs

After spring bulbs pass their bloom, deadhead spent flowers and then allow foliage to yellow and ‘ripen’ before being removed. It’s important because the foliage is responsible for passing the nutrients down into the bulb that will allow it to produce a new flower next year. Hide the foliage by growing perennials and annuals around it. When the foliage turns brown, cut it at ground level, secure in the knowledge that your favorite spring bulbs will return in 2023.


 

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Dividing Irises

Beardless (Japanese or Siberian) irises need to be divided regularly. As they grow, the center of the plant weakens or dies. Dig out the clump, cut out 4-to 6-inch segments from the outer ring and discard the center. Plant your renewed irises in soil that has been improved with compost or other organic matter, making certain to keep them at the same depth as they were before.

 


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Keep the size of evergreens in check by removing the new growth, called ‘candles’ from ornamental shrubs. Left unchecked, evergreens can outgrow their allotted space and become leggy. Candling evergreens results in denser plants.